Owen Scheele was set to turn out to be Fort Wayne Carroll’s quarterback this season earlier than most cancers ended his life.
Scheele died in June at the age of 17 after a short battle with leukemia.
“It brought the community together, whether it’s teammates together or people outside of the program,” stated Carroll coach Doug Dinan. “All actions had been for him and in his honor. He wore quantity 13. We’re 13-0. These numbers are particular to us. He was a fantastic child. He was a fantastic competitor. He solely began one recreation as a result of he was behind Jeff Becker, a three-year starter. But Owen must be our quarterback. He was an enormously gifted participant. We had been enthusiastic about his future and the place he would take us. It was so fast and so tragic.
“(The players) handled it by being together and praying together and doing everything in his honor. It was a battle cry.”
The No. 5 Chargers meet No. 4 Center Grove within the Class 6A state championship recreation at Lucas Oil Stadium tonight at 7:00 p.m. Carroll had by no means gained a regional win earlier than this season. In distinction, Center Grove, a two-time defending champion, is enjoying in its fourth straight 6A title recreation.
Dinan stated the Chargers received a lift within the area from final yr’s 37-14 loss to Westfield.
“It was an eight-point game to the end,” he stated. “I think that was the turning point where our kids realized what level they could play at. Westfield came here and played an outstanding game for the state championship and had chances to win that game. Without question, the IHSAA restructuring of the state tournament helped us because it pushed us north from the Indy (territory) schools. … Not to mention Lafayette Jeff, because Lafayette Jeff is a good football team. We were lucky to win this game in the regional league.”
The Chargers defeated Lafayette Jeff 21-20 within the regional league and upset No. 1 Hamilton Southeastern 21-15 within the semi-state.
Carroll solely permits 9.8 factors per recreation whereas scoring simply over 37.
“They play physical, they play fast, they play together,” Dinan stated of his protection. “Our defensive employees is doing an excellent job coaching them. We’ll go as our protection goes. If we’re profitable, management the road of scrimmage, defend the run, we’ve got an opportunity.”
Junior defensive finish Ashton Pesetski leads Carroll with 86 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 11 sacks.
Sophomore quarterback Jimmy Sullivan, who joined from rivals Homestead this season, has accomplished almost 65 p.c of his passes for two,203 yards with 27 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
“His ability to throw the ball and distribute the ball to all the different receivers was a blessing for us,” Dinan stated. “He gives us the balance to throw it and run it.”
Senior receiver Camden Herschberger has a team-high 57 catches for 737 yards. Sophomore Nate Starks is the staff’s prime rusher with 1,127 yards and 7 touchdowns.
“Nate is very skilled and very quick,” Dinan stated. “Braden Steely, who plays safety for us, will also line up and take some snaps in the wildcat. We call it our chaos package. You see both at the same time in the backfield or one at the quarterback.”
Steely, a junior, has rushed for 482 yards and a team-high 13 TDs. Sullivan has run for 11 TDs.
“The lead through the senior class was tremendous,” stated Dinan. “We are not here if we are not guided by our superiors.”
There are six seniors who begin on offense and 7 seniors who begin on protection.
Carroll has by no means performed Center Grove, however Dinan considers Center Grove a benchmark.
“They’re back (in the state finals) because of their culture and because of coach (Eric) Moore,” Dinan stated. “I’m positive they play for him. He additionally struggles with issues (well being points). When you’ve gotten conditions the place you play for a trigger, children elevate and enhance their video games.”
Today’s recreation might show to be the beginning of a fantastic rivalry outdoors of the convention. Dinan stated Carroll will play Center Grove in Week 2 of the 2024 common season, the beginning of a four-year deal. The Chargers will play Hamilton Southeastern and Warren Central in 2023.
“When we as a (summit) conference agreed to open weeks 1 and 2 to play opponents outside of the conference, that was a mindset – let’s play the best there is,” Dinan stated. “The only way we can say where we are is playing at these high-level schools.”
His staff will do exactly that tonight.
HOW YOU GET HERE
Fort Wayne Carroll’s 2022 season, recreation by recreation:
August nineteenth; at FW Luers; W, 42-3
twenty sixth of August; FW Snider; W, 28-21
September 2nd; at FW Northside; W, 28-20
Sept 9; at FW Northrop; W, 38-0
Sept 16;FW Dwenger;W, 31-0
September twenty third; FW Southside; W, 58-6
30. September; in Homestead; W, 52-10
7 Oct;FW Concordia;W, 51-0
Oct 14; at FW Wayne; W, 45-8
Oct 28; in Penn (lower); W, 35-7
November 4; Warsaw (enhancing); W, 34-17
Nov 11; in Lafayette Jeff (regional); W, 21-20
November 18; Hamilton Southeastern (semi-state); W, 21-15